Here's a thread to discuss the new Howard Chaykin comic, Hey Kids! Comics!, and the stories behind the stories...

Probably something we might benefit from are a list characters, and who they might correspond to in real life. I don't think Chaykin's going entirely for a one-to-one correspondence with his three main characters -- I suspect they'll be involved in incidents that happened to a variety of people throughout the industry. But the bosses, and the supporting characters, might all suggest one person or another in particular. So I'll try to keep a tally here on the front page, and see if that informs our reading. 

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I think we might need to re-evaluate Jess Mayberg as Wally Wood,  The second to last page of issue 2 is a 1-page strip where freelancers get their editor's Christmas list in the mail. Denny O'Neil mentioned an editor who would do that in his most recent Word Balloon interview. He didn't name names, and I should listen to it again to be sure, but I get the feeling it was Mort Weisinger. (It wasn't Jim Shooter, another editor he clashed with, but who he said was generous with Christmas gifts to freelancers.)

(But again, these correspondences aren't one-to-one, and the guessing game can only go so far. If you've got a character that you're largely basing on person X, there's no reason why you can't graft person Y's story onto him.)

There's an interview with Howard Chaykin about Hey, Kids! Comics! on the Wordballoon podcast -- and on it, he and John mention someone we hadn't considered as part of the inspiration for Benita -- Dorothy Woolfolk.

Let me be the first to say: "I hang my head in shame."

I encountered the story about the editor requesting Christmas gifts from freelancers (i.e., a shakedown by the guy who provided them their assignments) in an interview with Mike Esposito.  The editor in his story was Robert Kanigher.  

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

I think we might need to re-evaluate Jess Mayberg as Wally Wood,  The second to last page of issue 2 is a 1-page strip where freelancers get their editor's Christmas list in the mail. Denny O'Neil mentioned an editor who would do that in his most recent Word Balloon interview. He didn't name names, and I should listen to it again to be sure, but I get the feeling it was Mort Weisinger. (It wasn't Jim Shooter, another editor he clashed with, but who he said was generous with Christmas gifts to freelancers.)

(But again, these correspondences aren't one-to-one, and the guessing game can only go so far. If you've got a character that you're largely basing on person X, there's no reason why you can't graft person Y's story onto him.)

Thanks, Yossarian! It's great to get a name to the story. I was making an educated guess, but apparently not educated enought!

Three comic-strip people testified, according to the official transcript.

Walt Kelly, creator of "Pogo" and president of the National Cartoonists Association

Milt Caniff, creator of "Steve Canyon" and "Terry and the Pirates"

Joseph Musial, educational director of the National Cartoonists Society

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